Real Madrid 2-2 Bayern (Agg: 4-3): Real Through To Champions League Final

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Real Madrid made it into another Champions League final after a thrilling 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich on Tuesday night at the Bernabeu.

Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 last week in the first leg at the Allianz Arena, and then sealed their progression with a 4-3 aggregate triumph despite an unconvincing performance.

Bayern took the lead in the third minute, Joshua Kimmich opening the scoring following a mistake by Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

The hosts were quick to reply but it was Karim Benzema and not Cristiano Ronaldo, making an outfield record 152nd appearance in the competition, who took centre stage.

It was 2-1 just after the break as goalkeeper Sven Ulreich’s nightmare error from a back pass allowed Benzema to tap into an empty net (46), but James Rodriguez, on loan at Bayern from Real, converted from a tight angle (63) to make it 2-2 on the night and 4-3 to Real on aggregate.

Player ratings

Real Madrid: Navas (9), Lucas Vazquez (5), Varane (7), Ramos (6), Marcelo (7), Kovacic (6), Kroos (6), Modric (7), Asensio (7), Benzema (8), Ronaldo (6)

Subs: Bale (6), Casemiro (5), Nacho (NA)

Bayern Munich: Ulreich (4), Kimmich (8), Sule (8), Hummels (6), Alba (8), Thiago (8), Tolisso (8), Rodriguez (7), Muller (7), Lewandowski (6), Ribery (7)

Subs: Wagner (5), Martinez (NA)

Man of the match: Keylor Navas

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VIDEO: CBN Headquarters Engulfed In Fire | Official Reacts

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There was a fire outbreak at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja on Tuesday evening.

The fire was said to have started about a few minutes past six and lasted for about 30 minutes before it was put out.

It was gathered that men from the Federal Capital Fire Service were at the scene to ensure that the fire did not get out of control.

Apart from the Federal Fire Service that deployed two firefighting trucks in the scene of the incident, a truck belonging to Julius Berger was also sited at the apex bank headquarters.

The Assistant Comptroller, FFS, Bello Atayin who spoke to The Punch said that the fire started at the generator house.

He attributed the fire incident to a technical fault at the generator house, adding that the service was quick in putting it out before it got out of control.

He said, “The fire incident started at the generator house on the west side of the building and we were alerted.

“It was a minor fire incident and it had been put under control.”

But when contacted, the Acting Director Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor said there was no fire at the CBN.

“There is no fire, it’s just a smoke from the generator house,” he said.

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VIDEO: CBN Headquarters Engulfed In Fire | Official Reacts

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There was a fire outbreak at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja on Tuesday evening.

The fire was said to have started about a few minutes past six and lasted for about 30 minutes before it was put out.

It was gathered that men from the Federal Capital Fire Service were at the scene to ensure that the fire did not get out of control.

Apart from the Federal Fire Service that deployed two firefighting trucks in the scene of the incident, a truck belonging to Julius Berger was also sited at the apex bank headquarters.

The Assistant Comptroller, FFS, Bello Atayin who spoke to The Punch said that the fire started at the generator house.

He attributed the fire incident to a technical fault at the generator house, adding that the service was quick in putting it out before it got out of control.

He said, “The fire incident started at the generator house on the west side of the building and we were alerted.

“It was a minor fire incident and it had been put under control.”

But when contacted, the Acting Director Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor said there was no fire at the CBN.

“There is no fire, it’s just a smoke from the generator house,” he said.

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#ChiomasChallenge: Don Jazzy Launches Cooking Challenge For Ladies

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Mavin Boss, Don Jazzy has shown once again that he sure knows how to take advantage of trending issues on social media.

In a recent post on his Instagram page, Don Jazzy kick starts #ChiomaChallenge, a competition based on Chioma, Davido’s girlfriend cooking skills.

Meanwhile, Chioma has been a social media sensation not only when her relationship with Davido became public, the moment she got a N40 million Porsche as birthday assurance of love from the 30 Billion gang leader has made many ladies wish the same for themselves.

For the Girls looking for their own Davido , Don Jazzy took to his IG page to post the simple instruction for the challenge.

See post below:-

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Okorocha Announces Automatic Promotion For All Imo Workers, Promises ‘Sleeping Allowance’

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Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has announced automatic promotion for all workers in the state civil service, with the exception of those who are newly employ.

The governor also promised that because of the fondness he had for the workers, he could also approve sleeping allowance for them.

Okorocha announced the automatic promotion in his address at the 2018 Workers’ Day celebration, which held on Tuesday at Heroes Square in Owerri.

He said, “I have therefore approved an automatic promotion for all workers of Imo State.

“This automatic promotion means that if you are in Grade Level Eight, you are now in Grade Level Nine.

“This is because since I became governor seven years ago, you have not been promoted.

“Without you, the activities of government would be crippled. You are the engine room behind all our successes.

“I thank you for your patience. You are so dear to me. I can even approve sleeping allowance for you.”

Okorocha said his administration would abide by whatever decision is reached between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress concerning the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The governor said that his administration had approved new salary structure for the workers, though he did not provide the details.

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How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against US Dollar (April 30)

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Nigerian currency Naira started the week with a 10 kobo depreciation to N360.51 per dollar, in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market.

Data from the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that the indicative exchange rate for the I&E window rose to N360.51per dollar, on Monday, April 30, from N360.41per dollar on Friday last week, translating to a 10 kobo loss in the naira.

This depreciation was in spite of the 112 per cent increase  in the volume of dollars traded in the I&E window.

The window yesterday recorded turnover of$362.52 million, up from $170.61 million recorded Friday last week.

It was also gathered that the local currency, yesterday, appreciated by N1 to N362 per dollar, after two weeks of relative stability at N363 per dollar in the parallel market.

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Scores Feared Dead In Adamawa Suicide Blasts

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Dozens of people were killed on Tuesday when two suicide bombers detonated their explosives at a mosque and a market in Mubi, northeast Nigeria, residents said.

“We have evacuated dozens of dead and injured people to the hospital and the rescue operation is still ongoing,” local volunteer Habu Saleh told AFP.

A medical source at the Mubi General Hospital said they had “so far received 37 dead bodies and dozens of injured from the two blast scenes”.

There was no official confirmation of the death toll. Police and government officials in the Adamawa state capital, Yola, were not immediately available for comment.

The hospital source, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak to the media, added: “The death toll may mount because evacuation is not completed.

“Many of the injured who are in critical condition may not survive.”

Health workers from the hospital mobilised to attend to the victims, despite being on strike over pay and conditions.

Mubi resident Abdullahi Labaran said the first bomber mingled with worshippers who had gathered for prayers at the mosque at the edge of the market.

He detonated his explosives “five minutes before the prayer started” at about 1:20 pm (1220 GMT).

The second bomber blew himself up among the crowds of worshippers, traders and shoppers who fled the mosque towards the butchery section of a nearby market.

Mubi is some 200 kilometres (125 miles) by road from Yola.

It has been repeatedly targeted in deadly attacks blamed on Boko Haram since it was briefly overrun by the militant group in late 2014.

On November 21, 2017 at least 50 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque during early morning prayers in the Unguwar Shuwa area of Mubi.

In October 2012, at least 40 people were killed in an attack on student housing in Mubi that was widely blamed on Boko Haram.

In June 2014, at least 40 football supporters, including women and children, died in a bomb attack after a match in the Kabang area of the town.

AFP

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Buhari Drops Another Bomb, “Most Youth In The North Are Uneducated Or School Dropouts”

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President Muhammadu Buhari seems unmindful about the outrage and backlashes that generated more than a week ago after he had made some comments on young persons in the country, as he has spoken on the “uneducated” youth in Northern Nigeria.

Speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum on Wednesday, April 18, in London, Buhari had slammed a section of Nigerian youths, saying that “a lot of them haven’t been to school” but are after free things based on the notion that Nigeria is an oil-rich nation.

“About the economy, we have a very young population, our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. This is a very conservative one.”

“More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” Buhari was quoted to have said.

Buhari’s comment was met with backlash across the country.

Watch As Buhari Calls Nigerian Youths ‘Lazy’ (VIDEO)

Speaking on his purported comment on youth while in London, President Buhari dismissed the report, saying that the media only preferred to interpret and report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.

However, speaking during an interview with Voice of America (VON) on Tuesday, Buhari said most youth in the north are uneducated or school dropouts.

His words: “You know Nigeria’s population is now between 180 and 190 million and 60 per cent of this population is youth that is 30 years down ward.”

“You know in the north most youths are uneducated or school dropouts. If not because we had good harvests in the last two farming seasons, the situation would have deteriorated.

“These youths even if they travel out of the north for greener pasture they hardly make it economically because what they earn as income cannot afford them to meet their basic needs or return home.

“All these explanations I made, they refused to highlight them in their report and you know the media in Nigeria in most cases only do what they like.”

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Buhari Approves Recruitment Of 6,000 Additional Policemen

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, April 1, approved the recruitment of 6,000 additional policemen as part of fresh measures to address the nation’s security challenges including the farmers/herdsmen clashes across the country.

The President made this known in a special interview session with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, the United States on Tuesday morning.

President Buhari, who is in the U.S. on the invitation of the American President Donald Trump, revealed that additional security measures were being put in place to check cases of insecurity in Nigeria.

“We will put in place more measures to check insecurity in the country including increasing the number of policemen and train them.

“I have approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen by the police authorities and I directed that those recruited must come from all the 776 local government areas of the federation.

“Even if it means recruiting one person each from the 776 they should do that instead of going to motor parks, railway stations or market for the recruitment exercise.

“I gave (Police authorities) them this directive,’’ he said.

The president, who expressed reservation on the call for the establishment of state police as being advocated by state governors, said Nigerians must abide by constitutional provision in regard to the matter.

 

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Daily Roundup: All The Latest Football News Content Across Europe

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Spain

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is refusing to give up on Samuel Umtiti despite the Barcelona defender showing no sign he wants to leave the Nou Camp. Umtiti is a Manchester United transfer target this summer as he has stalled on a new deal in Catalonia. But Barca are confident he will renew before the start of the World Cup. (Sport)

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane will start winger Lucas Vazquez at right-back for tonight’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich. Regular full-back Dani Carvajal is injured while versatile defender Nacho is included in the squad but not deemed fit enough to play 90 minutes. (Marca)

Ex-Tottenham and Everton midfielder Vinny Samways is part of a consortium looking to buy Las Palmas for 110m euros. Samways, who made more than 150 appearances for the Canary Island club, has formed the offer with former team-mate Victor Afonso and American and Russian investors. (AS)

Atletico Madrid are on the verge of signing Celta Vigo full-back Jonny. The former Spain under-21 international can play on the left and right and Diego Simeone has turned to the 24-year-old after failing to land Jose Luis Gaya from Valencia. (AS)

Italy

Maurizio Sarri could quit Napoli for Chelsea this summer after clashing with club bosses over transfer plans and their refusal to match his wage demands. Sarri wants 4m euros a year but president Aurelio De Laurentiis is only willing to go as high as 3.5m euros. Sarri has also demanded a significant transfer fund but De Laurentiis wants to focus on buying younger players. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri wants to launch a midfield “revolution” of his team with Emre Can set to be joined by Atalanta’s Bryan Cristante, Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic or Adrien Rabiot of PSG. Allegri has identified midfield failures as the reason for their quarter-final exit in the Champions League. (Tuttosport)

Roberto Mancini is set to become the new Italy manager after Carlo Ancelotti turned down the job. Zenit St Petersburg boss Mancini met with FIGC representatives Alessandro Costacurta and Lele Oriali and has agreed a two-year contract worth 8m euros. (Gazzetta dello Sport/Corriere dello Sport)

Germany

Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel has branded accusations of bullying by midfielder Max Meyer as “total nonsense”. Meyer has been suspended by the club following a series of rows with Heidel over his fitness and attitude and will leave the club on a free transfer in the summer. (Bild/Kicker)

Borussia Dortmund are battling with Inter Milan to sign Independiente midfielder Maximiliano Meza for 16.5m euros. Meza, 26, is under contract until 2020 but Independiente are keen for him to sign a new deal to raise his asking price. (Bild)

Lukas Podolski wants to return to boyhood club FC Cologne but any transfer will be blocked by general manager Armin Veh. Cologne were relegated on Saturday and Podolski, who plays in Japan for Vissel Kobe, wants the opportunity to fire them back into the Bundesliga. (Bild)

France

PSG striker Kylian Mbappe hopes the French champions can sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante this summer describing him as ‘perfect’ for the club. Kante was Mbappe’s first answer when asked in an interview who he would like to see join the club. (beIN Sports)

Former France manager Laurent Blanc has left long-term agent Jean-Pierre Bernes over his failure to secure a Premier League coaching job. Blanc may now turn to Mino Raiola to help facilitate a move in the future. (AFP)

Lyon and Schalke want to sign Galatasaray winger Garry Rodrigues who is a Newcastle transfer target. Lyon sent scouts to watch the Cape Verde international on Sunday as Galatasaray beat Besiktas 2-0 in the Istanbul derby. (Canal Plus)

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Wilfried Zaha Not Scared Of Moving To A Bigger Club

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Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha says he is happy at the club, but would not rule out a move to a bigger club if the opportunity came along in the future.

“There’s always going to be speculation. I am just trying to keep my head down, play my football,” he told Sky Sports News.

“I am enjoying my football and I am contracted at Palace. I don’t really see myself anywhere [else].

“I moved away when I was 19, 20, Whatever happened before happened and I have grown mentally,” he added.

“So that won’t scare me, if I get the opportunity to move away eventually, that will not scare me because of what happened in the past.”

Wilfried Zaha has scored eight goals in 27 matches for Roy Hodgson’s side this season, with his impressive form in recent matches key to Palace’s climb up the Premier League table and away from the relegation zone.

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Newcastle Players Need Rafa Benitez To Remain At The Club – Christian Atsu

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Newcastle need Rafa Benitez to stay as their manager according to Ghanaian international Christian Atsu.

It has been reported Benitez could be lured to another club in the summer, something Atsu is keen to avoid happening.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Atsu said: “We need him to stay because we [the players] love working with him, the fans love him, we both love him.

“We are giving him all the support and we hoping he will stay and work with us for many years, without him things would be very difficult.”

“We work so hard, we have a great manager, the fans are behind us. At every game, home and away we have 52,000 fans supporting us.

“We are very happy for the support and we are so proud of ourselves that we are staying in the Premiership.”

Benitez said in April he was keen to discuss the future with the club “as soon as possible” before he later revealed talks were on-going to discuss his future.

He has one year left on his current deal and has won 48 of his 108 games in charge.

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West Ham’s Andy Carroll Sent Home After Row With Manager David Moyes

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West Ham’s Andy Carroll was sent home from training on Monday following a furious bust-up with manager David Moyes

Andy Carroll was clearly frustrated, remaining on the bench as an unused substitute during Sunday’s home defeat to Man City, disappearing down the tunnel towards the end of the match.

In his post-match interviews, David Moyes promised to “deal with it” and on Monday the pair were involved in a heated exchange, before Moyes sent Carroll home.

Carroll is expected to be fined the maximum two weeks’ wages and it remains to be seen whether he is included in West Ham’s plans for their final three games of the season.

The incident casts a further shadow over Carroll’s long-term future at West Ham.

The 29-year-old has made only eight starts and 16 appearances in total in all competitions this season and has suffered a number of injury setbacks.

Carroll is entering the final year of his contract and, with Moyes expected to remain in charge next season, West Ham could decide to sell him in the summer rather than risk allowing him to run down his contract.

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My Future At Real Madrid Not Dependant On Winning UEFA Champions League – Zinedine Zidane

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Zinedine Zidane says his future as Real Madrid coach does not depend on winning the Champions League for the third successive season.

Zinedine Zidane has enjoyed plenty of European success in the Spanish capital but has come under pressure this campaign following a poor LaLiga title defence.

“It’s independent of that,” the 45-year-old told realmadrid.com.

“Today I’m the coach and I want to continue at this club.

“But it’s not important. What matters to everyone is thinking about tomorrow’s game and that’s it.”

Barcelona took Madrid’s La Liga title off them when they beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-2 on Sunday, adding to their Copa del Rey triumph a week prior.

Zidane took time to congratulate Ernesto Valverde’s men before the upcoming Clasico on Sunday, but was anxious to turn attention to the midweek game at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“We are going to try to win the game against Bayern. That’s the objective,” he said. “We are not going to speculate, defend, or any similar strange things… we have to try to score quickly.

“In La Liga, Barcelona are the clear dominant force. They were deserved champions. We have to congratulate them.

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Not Many Midfielders In The World As Good As Naby Kieta – Yussuf Poulsen

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Soon-to-be Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita may have been sent off again on Sunday, but the Reds are signing are superstar, says Yussuf Poulsen.

“I think that most of the fans of Liverpool already watched him play. He is a superb player on a very high level,” the Leipzig forward told Omnisport.

“He shows what he can do with the ball even if it’s not going well for the team at this time.

“His last goal against Hoffenheim where he fakes out three people. He hit the post and then the ball went in.

“There are not many players in the world who can do that kind of thing.

“He is one of the few and not only the fans, but also his team-mates, should be looking forward to that.”

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Rob Holding Signs New Long-term Arsenal Contract

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Arsenal defender Rob Holding has signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates.

Rob Holding, 22, has made 42 first-team appearances for Arsenal since moving from Bolton Wanderers in summer 2016 but has primarily been Arsene Wenger’s fourth-choice centre-back.

He also has won five England under-21 caps and was part of the team that reached the semifinals of the UEFA Under-21 Championships in Poland last year.

An Arsenal statement read: “We would like to congratulate Rob on his new contract and look forward to his continued contribution in the coming years.”

 

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Rangers Job A “Great Opportunity” For Steven Gerrard – Frank Lampard

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Frank Lampard has tipped Steven Gerrard to take over as Rangers manager, describing it as a “great opportunity” for him

Steven Gerrard is understood to have been offered the top job at Ibrox following Tuesday morning’s news that interim boss Graeme Murty has left the role.

Steven Gerrard: Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers Surprised By Rangers Link

The 37-year-old’s only previous coaching experience has come at Liverpool, where he has spent nearly a year managing the Under-18s side.

Lampard feels that the time is right for Gerrard to quit Anfield and test himself north of the border, however, telling talkSPORT: “In terms of the size of the club and knowing Steven pretty well, I think it’s a great opportunity for him.

“If it feels right, I think he can handle that pressure from his playing days, he’s no stranger to that with the career he had in the game.

“He has cut his teeth at Liverpool with the young lads there and at some point Steven is going to step out of that and go into managing men, managing a first team. So that’s why I think Rangers would be a great opportunity for him.”

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Report: Liverpool Assistant Manager Zeljko Buvac Set To Succeed Arsene Wenger

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Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac is set to take over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, according to reports.
Zeljko Buvac has worked with Jurgen Klopp for 17 years and is now spending some time away from the first team from now until the end of the season for personal reasons and has not travelled to Rome for the club’s Champions League second leg with Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

Speculation began circulating on Sunday the Bosnian had quit but the club have dismissed that by stressing Buvac remains a Liverpool employee and his position is not affected by this absence.

A report today from Pravda BL in Buvac’s homeland claims that Buvac will not be resuming his role with the Reds and will instead take over at the Emirates this summer.

The Bosnian publication previously broke the story of how Buvac and Klopp would be taking over at Liverpool on the day before Brendan Rodgers was sacked.

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Tottenham Manager Maurico Pochettino Pleased With Hugo Lloris Performance Vs Watford

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Tottenham boss Maurico Pochettino is very pleased with the goalkeeping options at his disposal.

Hugo Lloris showed why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Tottenham’s win over Watford, boss Mauricio Pochettino says.

Spurs reasserted themselves in the race for a Premier League top-four finish by moving five points clear of Chelsea, thanks to goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane at Wembley on Monday night.

Hugo Lloris display marked a triumphant return to form after he produced some costly errors in recent weeks and was then left out of the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.

His quality has never been in doubt for Pochettino, though.

The Argentinian said: “I talk a lot, very well of him, the keeper with us their job is to be focused with us for 90 minutes, but to also help the team because our defensive line is higher.

“We demand a lot from the keeper and we are so happy with all, I think we have great keepers. Hugo is one of the best, Michel (Vorm) can play in any team in the Premier League and Paulo (Gazzaniga) is a potential great keeper.

“Of course, I think he showed he is brave, performance, quality he showed he is one of the best in the world, no doubt.

“Always it’s important, a clean sheet for a keeper is so, so important.

“A big satisfaction for him, I’m happy for him and of course for the team.

“It wasn’t a great performance, we cannot be too happy with the performance, but we can be happy about the three points and we keep fighting for the top four and a place in the Champions League.”

“Of course, I think he showed he is brave, performance, quality he showed he is one of the best in the world, no doubt.

“Always it’s important, a clean sheet for a keeper is so, so important.

“A big satisfaction for him, I’m happy for him and of course for the team.

“It wasn’t a great performance, we cannot be too happy with the performance, but we can be happy about the three points and we keep fighting for the top four and a place in the Champions League.”

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Roberto Mancini Set To Be Announced As New Italy Coach

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Roberto Mancini is set to become the new Italy manager, according to reports.

The former Manchester City – and current Zenit St Petersburg – boss is said to have met with federation chief Alessandro Costacurta to agree a deal. And, according to numerous reports, the 53-year-old could be set to take the team for the friendly against Saudi Arabia on May 28.

The Italy job has been vacant since Giampiero Ventura was sacked, with Luigi Di Biagio, the Under 21s manager, taking the side for the friendly matches against Argentina and England.

On Monday, Mancini told RAI state radio: “There has not been contact with the [Italian football] federation but, for a coach, the Italian national team would be a source of honour and prestige.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and former Leicester coach Claudio Ranieri, who is now in charge of French club Nantes, were among other candidates thought to be in the frame.

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Mohamed Salah Named FWA Player of the Year 2018

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Mohamed Salah has been named as the FWA Player of the Year.

Mohamed Salah has enjoyed a sensational season which has seen him score 43 goals in all competitions and lead Liverpool to the semi-finals of the Champions League. He has matched the records of Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez – who all scored 31 goals in a season – with two games remaining.

And his efforts have been recognised by the Football Writers’ Association, whose award will sit alongside the same accolade from the PFA.

He becomes the first African winner of the award and the 15th player in the Premier League era to win the FWA and Players’ Football Association’s Player of the Year gongs in the same season.

Harry Kane was in third place but the Tottenham striker was a long way behind the top two as Salah and De Bruyne polled 90 per cent of the vote between them.

Salah will receive the trophy at a prestigious dinner on May 10 in London

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Ebonyi Signs Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Into Law

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Ebonyi State now has the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law as its Governor, Dave Umahi, gave his assent on Monday, at a ceremony at the Executive Council chambers in Abakaliki.

The ceremony was attended by his wife, Rachael and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.

The Speaker, Mr Francis Nwifuru said the law forbids violence against persons, prohibits Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM ) and  protects women against  all manners of violence, including wife battering.

“The implementation of this law will enable the protection of women and give confidence to women.

Governor Umahi ordered that copies of the law be distributed to presidents of town unions, local government chairmen and  councillors to help in propagating it in their areas.

Umahi commended the Speaker and the legislators for making the law. He also commended his wife, Rachael and her team for fighting for the cause of women in the state.

“Some states have passed VAPP into law to protect rights of Women. Women should know that they are striving to be accorded respect and must shoulder responsibility,” he said.

Mrs Umahi said her pet project; Family Succour and Upliftment Foundation would be launched, along with foreign partners, to enhance development of women.

“VAPP law will prohibit FGM, rape, abandonment of dependants, child labour, stalking, spouses battering and others.

“It will be a privilege for women to know who they are with the law backing them,” she said.

The Chairman, International Federation of Women Lawyers ( FIDA ) Ebonyi chapter and Deputy Head of Chambers, Ms Olivia Okpaleke noted that the law covers all manner of violence against women in the state.

Okpaleke explained that it was a crime not to report rape cases, adding that anyone found in the act would be prosecuted.

“This will go long way in addressing all forms of violence against women in the state, ” Okpaleke said.

NAN

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Buhari’s Impeachment: Mission Impossible – Reuben Abati

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Buhari’s Impeachment: Mission Impossible – Reuben Abati

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The Chairmen of the Committees on Public Accounts in the National Assembly – Kingsley Chinda (House of Representatives, PDP Rivers, Obio/Akpor Constituency) and Mathew Urhoghide (Senate, PDP Edo South) – have both had cause to ask the respective Chambers of the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account, without prior approval of the National Assembly and/or appropriation.

This has caused much partisan rowdiness in the National Assembly and an aborted clash between PDP supporters of Mathew Urhoghide and pro-Buhari APC stalwarts at the Benin Airport in Edo State. Impeachment is a serious and sensitive political process that could lead to the removal of the affected political leader from office. The primary issue is whether or not President Buhari has indeed committed any offence, any violation of the Constitution that should warrant his impeachment?

What constitutes the ground for impeachment is defined in Section 143 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution as “gross misconduct” and further in Section 143 (11) as (a) “a grave violation or breach of this Constitution”, or “a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct.” The first ground for impeachment is literal and unambiguous and it would only need to be proven. The main allegation for now is that the President caused to be spent a sum of $496 million without the National Assembly or appropriation.  Section 80 of the Constitution dealing with “power and control” over public funds refers. Section 80(1) establishes a Consolidated Revenue Fund into which “all revenues or other moneys raised or received by the Federation (not being revenues or other moneys payable under this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly into any other public fund of the Federation established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into, but the more relevant reference is Section 80(2) which states that:

“No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the Constitution or where the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of Section 81 of this Constitution.”

In other words, the government is not allowed by the Constitution to spend any money that has not been duly appropriated for, or without due authorization. The inherent and oversight role of the National Assembly is clarified in Sections 80(3), 80(4) and Section 83 (1 -2).  Section 80(3) is clear enough: “No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly.“ Section 80(4), for sheer emphasis it seems, reiterates the same point.

The operational word in all these Sections of the Constitution is “shall” – legally, this means “a mandatory order”.  In a letter written to the National Assembly informing it of the expenditure of $496 million, without Appropriation, without a Supplementary Budget and without authorization, or even consultation, the President states that he granted “anticipatory approval.” He has no such powers under this Constitution. Nor can he seek protection under Section 82, which talks about authorization of expenditure in the absence of an Appropriation Act as is currently the case to wit:

“If the Appropriation Bill in respect of any financial year has not been passed into law by the beginning of the financial year, the President may authorize the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government of the Federation for a period not exceeding six months or until the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act, whichever is the earlier…”

Note this: “to carry on the services of the Government of the Federation…” Is the purchase of 12 aircraft part of the “services of government?”. We can argue over this but given a literal interpretation, the President is clearly in violation of the Constitution. Such authorization should be in respect of services already before the National Assembly. In the absence of this, the President should have consulted the National assembly and sought their understanding, and buy-in, before spending the money. Writing a letter after ignoring them and the Constitution is an afterthought that beggars the question. The President is also in violation of the proviso to Section 82 in the sense that the purchase of the aircraft is not contained in the 2018 Appropriation Bill. Since it is not there and the Appropriation Bill has not been passed, the President has no basis to say that he has spent money.  Can the President spend money in the event of an emergency? Section 83 of the 1999 Constitution addresses this – he can but only with the authorization of the National Assembly as in s. (83(1) and through the vehicle of a “Supplementary Estimate and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill as in s. (83(2).”

I have argued previously that the 1999 Constitution grants the President of Nigeria, enormous, if not excessive powers, but the framers of our Constitution did not extend such powers to cover indiscriminate spending of public funds, hence the combined effect of Sections 80 – 85 and S. 162 is to provide checks and balances against the possibility of anyone no matter how highly placed spending public funds, in a manner other than has been provided by the Constitution, no matter how well-intentioned he or she may be. So, President Buhari is prima facie indictable in the light of the first ground for impeachment as in Section 143(11).

The second ground is a bit nebulous, for it speaks of whatever amounts to “gross misconduct” – “in the opinion of the National Assembly.”  Virtually every Nigerian has an opinion, and where the  opposition dominates the National Assembly, such an Assembly can form any opinion and remove a sitting President. My own opinion in this instance however, is that there are strong grounds even on this second score for commencing impeachment proceedings against President Buhari. These include and are not limited to: his government’s routine violation and complete disregard for court order and the rule of law, human rights abuses, and his regular de-marketing of the country and Nigerians in the international community, and his apparent lack of ability to provide strategic leadership. But the reality is that the National Assembly as presently constituted is dominated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Nigeria’s democracy has not yet reached a level where the legislature will choose to act on a non-partisan basis.  The APC may be four, five parties in one, and may be imploding but I do not see the possibility of a ruling party in Nigeria impeaching its own President.

To return to the first ground of impeachment, which stands more on terra firma, and not “opinion”, I also do not see the possibility of impeachment of either the incumbent President or any other President under the 1999 Constitution.  The National Assembly has set up a Committee to consider the possibility of the commencement of impeachment proceedings – it submits its report tomorrow, Wednesday, May 2 – and there may well be some persons losing sleep over that in Buhari’s quarters, but there is actually no cause for alarm.  The framers of Section 143 (1-11) of the 1999 Constitution did not really hope that any sitting Nigerian President will ever be impeached.  The rules and procedure set out under that relevant Section are so cumbersome and tedious as to make impeachment impossible.  The last time anyone tried to invoke Section 143 was under President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 – notice of allegations were served on the then President by the House of Representatives to which he responded – but in the end nothing happened. Nothing will again happen to Buhari this time around. He will not be impeached because the relevant Constitutional provisions in Section 143 are too windy.

One, an impeachment process is initiated when “a notice of allegation” is presented to the President of the Senate by “not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly” accusing the office of the President or Vice President of “gross misconduct (s. 80 (2).”  As at the time of this writing, no such notice has been presented. One-third of the entire Assembly (!) – that’s like wishful thinking. Section 143 (4) again presents this dilemma of numbers when it says, if the National Assembly decides to investigate the allegations, it can only do so if it is supported by “not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of each House of the National Assembly.”  By the time we get to this stage, 21 days would have passed, and that is part of the problem with the rules of procedure on impeachment in Section 143. It would take at least six months or more for any Nigerian President to be impeached. The giver of the law created a problem here with numbers and also with time, and a bigger problem with the introduction of the judiciary into what should be purely a political process. In Section 140 (5), the judiciary is brought into the conflict, ensuring a possible clash among all three arms of government in the impeachment process.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) is given additional seven days (28 days now in total) to “at the request of the President of the Senate appoint a Panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation as provided in this section.” Section 143 is thus loaded, from 1-11, with so many make or kill, elimination tests, and this is perhaps the most critical. Can we really rely on the opinion of the CJN to select seven apolitical, non-partisan persons of “unquestionable integrity?” Where are those seven persons coming from? Heaven?, because no such persons exist in Nigeria.  And should such seven persons be identified, there is nothing in this section barring interested parties or the Executive, and its agents from discrediting such persons.  How many “unquestionable” Nigerians would even agree to serve on such a panel, if at all they exist?

Assuming a panel of seven emerges, the person to be impeached still has the right to be defended by legal practitioners of his choice. Thus Section 143 (6) is in pari materia with Section 36 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to fair hearing, but it is another bottle-neck which can go on for three months – (section 143(7) – or much longer by the time the lawyers exploit technicalities to prolong the proceedings. Section 143(7) (b) further presents a serious bottle-neck: the constituted panel must report its findings to each House of the National Assembly within three months of its appointment.  Section 143(8) says if the allegations are not proven, then the process stands aborted, but in the event of either this or the opposite addressed in Section 143(9), the Constitution only asks for two-thirds majority to determine the fate of the affected political office holder, it says nothing about the procedure for removal, now mentioned for the first time as a consequential effect.  To the best of our knowledge, the National Assembly does not even have such a procedure in place, except it will create an emergency one, because the full import of Section 143 has not yet been tested.  Being a political process, stricto senso, the Courts are further estopped under Section 143(11) from inquiring into an impeachment process.

Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution is in our view, therefore, a jurisprudential nightmare. If we really want to prevent our Presidents from hiding under the Constitution to become tyrants, this particular section of the Constitution needs to be reviewed.  The National Assembly should put in place standard rules and procedures to give live to the process in the need of activation of Section 143. The judiciary should also be removed from the process, as is the case in the United States. A compromised CJN would readily frustrate the process since his “opinion” is so important!  Section 143 makes it difficult as it is, to remove a President, especially given our situation where there is so much emphasis on money-politics, political affiliation, ethnicity, religion and loyalty to the President and primordial sentiments. Some characters called elder statesmen and traditional rulers may even intervene to derail the impeachment process. The quality of legislators is also important: to protect and uphold the Constitution, we need people who understand that loyalty to the nation is more important than loyalty to the President or religious and ethnic sentiments. The present set of dancing, sleeping, singing, fibbing, cradle-snatching, compromised persons who end up in the National Assembly cannot do it.

The worst that they can do is to further damage President Muhammadu Buhari’s reputation. Mere talk about or the commencement of impeachment proceedings on its own, has negative political consequences, especially in an election season – even US President Bill Clinton did not fully recover from it although he was impeached but was not removed from office. The view has been expressed that the National Assembly should not bother to test Section 143 because this may have implications for the stability of the country in an election season, or that, well, President Buhari is almost completing his first term. I disagree. The responsibility to protect and uphold the Constitution must not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, even if all things considered, President Buhari needs not lose any sleep.

This article was written by Reuben Abati. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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“Dear President, You Deserve Some Accolades” – Aisha Buhari Hails Husband

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Following his outing to the United States where he was hosted by President Donald Trump, the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has praised her husband, saying he deserves some accolades.

President Buhari on Monday, April 30, had a meeting with Trump at the Oval Office in the White House. Thereafter, both leaders addressed a joint press conference.

Apparently elated by her husband’s composure and accuracy in answering questions from the US media, Nigeria’s First Lady took to her verified Twitter handle, @aishambuhari on Monday to drop the message.

“Dear President, you deserve some accolades,” she wrote as she shared some of photographs taken during Buhari’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, Washington DC earlier in the day.

The message instantly generated diverse reactions from Mrs. Buhari’s followers on Twitter.

Presidents Buhari and Trump during the meeting discussed various issues including security, tackling terrorism, improving business relations between both countries, among others.

Trump during the meeting also hailed Buhari for fighting corruption and terrorism in Nigeria.

“Nigeria has a reputation for very massive corruption. I also know that the President (Buhari) has been able to cut that down very substantially. We talked about that, he is working on it and they have made a lot of progress and I think they will continue to make a lot of progress,” Trump said on Monday after their bilateral meeting at the White House.

Meanwhile, the US President told his Nigerian counterpart that his country will not accept the killing of Christians in Nigeria.

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Davido Gifts Girlfriend Chioma, N45 Million Porsche On Her 23rd Birthday (VIDEO)

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DMW boss, Davido has presented his girlfriend, Chioma a brand new Porsche car in celebration of her 23rd birthday.

In a viral video posted by the singer, the celebrant got the car as a suprise gift courtesy of her lover, Davido.

Davido, who had also released a song “Assurance” dedicated to her, wrote on his social media pages as he shared the video of the moment;

I give my baby ASSURANCE!!! I love you baby!! WE IN THIS 4 LIFE!!

@thechefchi !! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHIOM CHIOM !! FROM ME TO YOU!! I BOUGHT MY BABY A PORSCHE!!

 

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